M-Sport press release
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (6th)
“Today was pretty challenging! We took it really steady in the first stage [SS1] because we didn’t do so well there last year. For us it was important to get through that stage with no problems, and we did so that was good.
“The first proper stage [SS2] was quite good for us. We had a pretty good rhythm and everything worked really well. On the next one [SS3] we had an early puncture on the front-right and we ended up doing 70 to 80 per cent of the stage with the puncture so obviously we lost quite a lot of time there.
“Then on the last stage [SS4] we had a lot of really bad rain – only the last three kilometres with no rain. It was quite slippery and the polished rocks made the conditions really difficult. But that is the way it is and it was the same for a lot of other drivers too.
“I hope for a wet, muddy and difficult day tomorrow because now we are starting a little further up the field. I really like driving in tricky conditions too, so if we have that tomorrow I think it would be an advantage for us.”
Jari Ketomaa, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (8th)
“It was very tricky driving in the dark and I couldn’t get the confidence in the pace notes. Also the set-up was not completely right as we made some changes after qualifying which didn’t go to plan. I couldn’t get the feeling from the front tyres and I didn’t have the confidence going into the corners.”
Craig Breen, Ford Fiesta S2000 (13th)
“We had a bit of trouble on the first stage tonight [SS2]. We went through a ford and sucked in a lot of water so the car wasn’t running quite right for the next six or seven kilometres after that. We were just on three cylinders so we lost a lot of time there.
“We pushed on the second one [SS3] but something happened with the intercom on that last stage [SS4]. There was a real weird buzzing noise coming through it so that was a bit distracting.
“But I’m relatively pleased with how the rally has gone so far. Tomorrow we will push. I want to prove just how fast I can be around here.”
Daniel Oliveira, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (16th)
“The idea was to take it pretty relaxed as these were our first stages in the car. Ok, having to do this in the darkness was not the perfect conditions, but it was ok. The car looks good and tomorrow will be a real day – I’m really looking forward to it."
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (17th)
“The stages were really nice. The first night stage [SS2] went really well for us but on the last two [SS3 and SS4] I tried to take it slower. It’s a long rally and the rain meant that the grip levels were changing all the time. But I’m really enjoying it and tomorrow I will try to push step by step.”
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (18th)
“We had a problem with the engine so we were just cruising through most of the stages. We tried to repair the car but it was not possible. It looks as though we might have a big problem with the engine, but we will try to repair it and hopefully we can be back to where we need to be tomorrow.”
Maciek Oleksowicz, Ford Fiesta S2000 (20th)
“This was the first time I have ever driven in conditions like this and it was really hard! Especially on the second stage [SS3] there was a lot of rain and a lot of mud on the road.
“But I hope tomorrow will be much better for us. Hopefully we may get a little bit of sunshine and we will try to go faster.”